In the 1970s, he served in Vietnam. In the 1980s, he survived lymphoma. In 2003, he beat colon cancer. Now, in 2006, Gary Hood faces what could be his most horrific challenge yet – paying off hospital bills.
“I got a fake arrow stuck in my head, and the doctor had to take it out,” Fort Worth’s “Godfather of Comedy” said. “I also got a rubber chicken stuck in my tukkus, which is bad because I’m not a prop comic.”
In all seriousness, the 57-year-old California Jew needs help covering all of his accumulated medical expenses. Enter: his Comedyland pals, who are taking over Hood’s home away from home, the Black Dog Tavern, to hold a show to help raise funds. Slated to hit the stage this weekend are the crème de la crème of local funnymen, including Ken “Tie-Dye Guy” Mathias, Butch Lord, filmmaker Monty Griffin, and up-and-coming national touring headliner Steve Hirst, among several other yuksters.
The main event, of course, will be Hood himself. The comic’s used to being paid big bucks to perform, so for him to do a free show is reason enough for the unwashed to pack the joint. That the poor guy’s fighting for his financial life – well, let’s just say you’re a heartless sonofabitch if you don’t go.
The big-boned comedian plans on performing an extended set (“at least 35 minutes this time”), a rare occasion considering that Hood’s not in the best of health and is super busy hosting the regular weekend shows at Hyena’s Comedy Night Club. (Before he quit several months ago, he was also hosting the open mics at the Black Dog.)
Hood’s best comedy attribute may be his ability to offend his audience but not really – and everyone’s fair game. Appearing onstage in Granbury a couple of weeks after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Hood asked the only black couple in the room if they wanted to go looting after the show. The next minute, he asked a guy dressed in ropers and a 10-gallon lid if he was just in town “to pick up supplies.”
The Black Dog benefit show for Hood is Sunday at 7 p.m.
Sometimes you don’t play your cards right, and you end up in suburbia with a few hours to kill.
If the strip-mall hell you one day happen to find yourself twiddling your thumbs in is Cityview, here’s a good recommendation.
Last week, I was a couple of hours early for a movie I wanted to see, so instead of heading all the way back into town, I decided: What the hey. Let’s see what goes on all the way out here. My motivation wasn’t purely anthropological. I wanted good, inexpensive, no-nonsense food, cold beer, and an unpretentious vibe.
I had to kiss three frogs before I found my prince: Woody’s Tavern looked cool but doesn’t serve any grub, there was a screaming baby at the Italian joint I peeked into, and the Horseman was kind of dead. The winner: Lone Star Oyster Bar, where I had a delicious po’ boy and a few cold schooners of brew and watched some of the Mavs game.
Here’s a place I would have never imagined myself in, let alone contented, and while I’m not sure I’ll ever plan a trip out there, I’ll stop by next time I’m trapped in Shitty-view.
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Black Dog Tavern
2929 Crockett St, FW.
Lone Star Oyster Bar
4750 Bryant Irvin Rd, Ste 850, FW. 817-370-0030.